Monday, December 12, 2011

Close (but not quite)

This is the closest thing I can get to a good brother picture these days, and I try almost every single day. :) These crazy, sweet boys - they keep us running, laughing, praying, humble, etc.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2011

What's Going On At The Butts' House Today

"More, Mr. Grinch? All done! Avacodoes, Mr. Grinch? Yummy - Rice Cereal! All done! Wipe!"





Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Morning's View From Balcony

One of the Lord's kindnesses to our family in the move to Georgia is our little apartment. We didn't know how or where we were going to live (or work, for that matter) when we decided to move here. The Lord provided both a job for Dustin (got the phone call as we were unpacking) and a wonderful apartment to call home. But my favorite part of the Lord's kindness in all this might just be our view. We're in the back corner of the complex, 3rd floor. And it just happens to overlook Kennesaw mountain. Most evenings, we can also catch spectacular sunsets. This was my view from this morning. My neighbor and I enjoyed chatting over coffee, enjoying the fall crisp air. I hope that I can enjoy His kindness ("pardon for sin and a peace that endureth") no matter what the view, but it's been wonderful to have this patio. It reminds me of how our Father has guided and provided. Great is His faithfulness! And His mercies are new each morning indeed.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 05, 2011

How Deep The Father's Love

The Stewarts from Together for Adoption on Vimeo.

I'm so glad God pursued me, no matter what the cost.

If you've ever wondered why so many Christians are adopting lately, this is why.

Nathaniel is 2!

I'm all sentimental about this kid today.

To all of the older folks at the grocery store, I'm really trying to take your constant advice to heart and enjoy the little years, because they fly. Keep reminding me though.

2 years ago...


We love you, Sweet Natey.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2 Teeth.

I couldn't resist sharing this one.

Butts' boys' teeth mess up naps, cause drool and we'd like to even blame them for our funky hair and bad breath.

But, isn't he sweet?
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keep Praying For Cari!

A few weeks ago, we found out that a sweet friend of ours (from the first couple of years of our time at Third Avenue in Louisville) was diagnosed with breast cancer. We've been praying for her and thinking about her constantly. Her husband, Josh, was one of the first people we met at Third on a Wednesday night. And she led the Women's Group that was such an instrument of spiritual growth and deep fellowship in my life as a new wife in a new town. She is an amazing woman, and she is trusting her amazing God.

Chemo is underway and life is hard. Please pray for this sweet family.

Cari encourages me so much, as she says things like this -
This is a testing of my faith like I have never experienced before and I find myself running to the ONE who gives me strength. Thankful for His faithfulness and perfect ability to help me be steadfast! Jesus alone is my strength.

Cari's sharing her heart - in pictures and words here.
And strangers, friends and family are giving generously here.
Please pray for her to have strength to fight and keep running to the One who gives her strength. Pray for healing.

I love you, Cari!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Not just for the kids...

It's never a bad thing when I get THESE songs like these in my head. Listen to an entire cd here. UPDATE: If you click on that link and scroll down (arrow to right of grey bar), you can listen to all of their cds!! Wow! So, if you are interested, you can listen to Nate's faves. Choose Seeds of Praise #3 and listen to #2 and #6 to hear what's almost always in our van (if he asks kindly) lately and in our heads and dreams. He actually has been known to throw FITS when his "mouth song" is not on, so we are trying to teach him that he's not in control of the song selection.

This is the only Seeds cd we own so far. Nate's FAVES are #2 and #6 without a doubt. Dustin and I have our own favorites.

Thanks to the Collins for the intro to Seeds Music... We recently bought their van, which they kindly filled with goodies from diapers to Mr. Potato Heads to this cd. I miss you, Collins.

The following two songs are not from our cd, but a couple I found on a quick You Tube search, to give you a flavor -

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On the lighter side...

My son is developing quite the sense of humor. For example, Dustin talked about Nate getting his PANTALONES (we like to speak Spanglish) on, and Nate cracked up. He could not stop laughing and yelling, "Pantalones!" which sounded more like "Pantaloney!"

And when we watched a little more videos (on Zoodles) than normal this week, due to his being sick, I discovered that he thought this was just hysterical. It's not exactly the same signs I learned for all of these words, but, well, Mr. Nate thought it was hilarious.

Especially the nappy change. Wish you could all stop by and watch my son watching this video.

"You sign."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"It's Good." "It's Hard." It's both. And hard to communicate!

The early part of my Christian life, I'd say I erred on the side of not sharing my sin and struggles. You know? Putting on my happy face, because after all, J is for Jesus, O is for Others and a Y,I,I,I,I,I,I is for you, you, you, as the happy song went. Now, I sometimes feel like I've "grown" in this area, and yet, now, I'm tempted to lose balance. For example, in perhaps aiming to be more transparent, I know I can sometimes grumble, gossip, whine, etc. I know we don't have to be "hard, but good" all the time people, you know when you constantly just say, "It's hard right now, but it's all good." Although there's definitely truth in that. But I need to flesh that out a bit more before I say it, without really, really meaning it. Really believing it. God IS at work in THIS, whatever this might be. Right now.

Anyway, I think Mr. Altrogge is on the right track in this article I just read. I really want to chew on this, and ask the Lord to help me in this area. I just find it tricky, and I get confused on what kind of speech and openness honors the Lord without turning into a grumbler. I'm always running from one extreme to the other, if I'm not careful. Anyway, my rambling aside, this article is a short one, but worth your time:

Bringing God Into the Equation

P.S. An afterthought here... some of the most godly people I know, who love God's Word and read it a whole bunch and love their Maker and pray to Him a whole bunch, do this really, really, really well. And suffer trials way harder than I've ever, ever, ever been asked to suffer. And they never read this article. :) I'm so thankful for models who have done this well in my life. Think about it. Don't the godliest people you know seem to strike a balance in this? They don't act like they have it all together, but they don't utterly despair when trials come. They bring God into the equation.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Fear of Man

Fear of man is such a part of our human fabric that we should check for a pulse if someone denies it. (pg. 17)

Regarding other people, our problem is that we need them (for ourselves) more than we love them (for the glory of God). The task God sets for us is to need them less and love them more. (pg. 19)

-Edward Welch, When People are BIG and God is Small

A looooong time ago, when I blogged more and read more, I posted thoughts on another book on the topic of pleasing people/fear of man. They are still floating around the Internet here and here.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Baby Brudder Tee-um (as Nate says)

He's getting sooo big, but he's still my baby.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Barabbas: Jesus is Alive - Shai Linne

Barabbas: Jesus is Alive - Shai Linne

Nate's New Favorite Song

HT: Blake White - Thanks, friend!

Strength for Weary Moms

"The harvest won't come today. And it won't come tomorrow. Maybe not even next year or the year after that."

Keep reading MORE here and be encouraged!

And, if time allows, read each article in the series. The first one on the Gospel, for example, held a convicting reminder of what I need the MOST in this season, and every season:

Without a steady diet of gospel truth our souls will shrivel and our strength will wane; but a steady diet of gospel truth will give us power to persevere, even in the most tiring of times.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Links

If my friend Erin still blogged, she'd have all kinds of fun ideas for you. I feel selfish keeping all of her tips to myself sometimes, so I thought I'd share a few today.

With Timmers taking 3 naps a day, (and much more successfully at home) we are home quite a bit. She recently helped me brainstorm some fresh ways to keep Nate entertained and busy, enjoying home and learning, etc, etc.

She pointed me to the following:
Sensory Balloons (looks cheap and not too hard, hope to try soon),
Zoodles (we just use the PLAY GAMES section which takes you to a spot where you can watch a few short videos here and there)
and even Healthy Meatloaf (I used bread crumbs instead of almond flour)! Well, the Meatloaf was more a project for me than Nate.

And, I just skimmed this article on moving to a new spot, but hope to read it more later.

That's it for now! Thanks to Erin for some great resources to help me keep my little man engaged and a new, yummy, healthy recipe to add to the mix. Easy, too!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For Fun

Whether you have a toddler or not, you probably would lower your stress level by rocking out to the Pandora Toddler station. Set up a free account, and then create a "Pandora Toddler" station and have fun!!

We're kind of addicted.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Considering Introverts & Church


In many ways, the church is an extroverts' world.

So what's an introvert to do?

Read on here.

(from Jamie)
If you aren't an introvert, chances are you are good friends with or married to one, or someone who is more introverted than you, even if they aren't a textbook introvert. You definitely go to church with lots. I stumbled across this and it was thought-provoking for me in several ways. I appreciated the careful consideration behind knowing your God-given personality and gifts, not excusing sinful tendencies, but kind of "embracing" your introvertedness, if that's you, and letting God use it, while still pushing yourself a bit. The thoughtfulness on strategically being a fruitful part of the Body of Christ was helpful...

and, for me, it was simply a convicting reminder that ALL of the Body of Christ is so BEAUTIFUL, not just the more visible parts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, it's that Christianity has been found difficult and left untried.
-G.K. Chesterton

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Respectful Wife (a link) and A Helpful Perspective (on being overwhelmed)

This was a very clear article on a topic that's often easier to talk about than actually practice, thanks to my sinful flesh! This was a practical list to think through ways I should strive for growth in respecting my man more and more, and thus obeying the Lord!
A Respectful Wife

And I'm working through my new book. It's a different kind of book... no verses. SHORT chapters (I'm talking 2-4 pages). And, I should probably add that there are several in-passing references to an understanding of children that is more in line with presbyterians. Anywho, it's such an easy read. Mainly giving you (God-honoring) tools to help your THINKING and PERSPECTIVE about parenting your "little people" during the busy "little years."

Pg. 41 got me a few days ago.

Here's an excerpt. And, it would probably serve you better IN CONTEXT, so go grab your copy of the book soon! (They didn't pay me to say that.)

God gave this to me. I may not be overwhelmed about it. I can try as hard as I can, and maybe fail sometimes. I can try as hard as I can and fall asleep at the dinner table. I can try as hard as I can and be completely burned out at the end of the day. But I may not be overwhelmed. Actually, I may be overwhelmed, but I may not say I am overwhelmed! The words have a power over us. If you say it, you allow it for yourself. You give yourself that little bit of room to say, "But I can't."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

For Sarah, Lindsay and Mary (and you)

Hey all!

In light of the sweet comments on my last post, I thought I'd spend 3 minutes and pass on 2 links and a book that I've recently found (or am finding) helpful. AND a picture to boot.

and I just got my copy of this book in the mail. Even the preface and Ch. 1 were encouraging!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Preparing to Be an Amazing Old Woman (or Man)

One of our very dear friends, Bryan...

has a very insightful father...

who wrote a very helpful post!!

It's called Preparing to Be an Amazing Old Man or Woman by Jim Elliff of Christian Communicators Worldwide.

Check it out here.

It's so easy to think you will be young forever. To not see past next week. I sometimes can't see past the current diaper I'm changing. I love the loooong-term vision presented here. My friend Erin says, "As I grow older, I want to grow MORE wise, not less." Sounds simple. But it will take the kind of thought laid out in this article to TRULY pursue. And all for His glory.

Anyone read this anymore? If so, I'd like to scoot away from kiddos' pictures a bit (although I like my kids a whole lot) and, although I don't aspire to spend much time here, share links like this that may be helpful. IF anyone is reading. =) If not, I'll just save them to my own favorites or print.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Move.

If you didn't know, we moved to Georgia on 7/23.

The move went well. We were pretty tired though.

Mindy "Mia" came (her 5th time to visit us) and brought smiles to our faces and extra hands to hug and help!

We worked out some energy downtown at the park!

We're bonding.

We get lost in the big city sometimes (note the shirt) but doing okay overall!

That's the picture scoop. Also, Dustin starts his new job on Monday! We are thankful for the Lord's kindness! We miss Louisville and our sweet friends there, but we're also excited about being here. That's it for now!!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fellowship So Deep

Speaking of memories and seasons and such as today marks 5 year of marriage, we are also closing out (more on that later!) a BIG season of life here in Louisville and headed to Georgia.

We're thankful for several things over these years, but Third Avenue Baptist Church probably tops the list. More thoughts or pictures one day, but our hearts are full! With deep gratitude - for the Gospel, for our church family there, for growth, for hope, trials, for joy, for worship, memories, so on and so on. For... fellowship so deep, and this song reminds me...
I'm thankful for this season. I'm looking forward to the next.

5 Years!

Five sweet, full, sanctifying, wonderful years ago, I married my Dustin!

Today, we're celebrating in nasty work clothes, crunchy-ice cokes and chocolate, painting and packing (ha, we'll celebrate later), but we are thankful!

Marriage has been another of God's tools to teach us more about His kindness to us in pursuing us and rescuing us with His grace!!

I love my sweet man! Thankful for him!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rediscovering the Library...

I like to read. I forget that I like to read, and then I re-remember. :)

These all came highly recommended to me (and the Power's book was recommended to Dustin) lately. I've read all of one, most of a 2nd one, and dabbled in the other two. I haven't read leisurely in a looong time, and I've really been enjoying it. Hamlet's Blackberry is especially interesting and helpful. Go check it out for yourself. Little Women (the unabridged version) has been my middle-of-the-night-I-can't-sleep go-to. Why Motor Skills Matter was recommended at a little seminar thing I went to recently, and it's really interesting. Finally, I read Guernsey in a matter of days, it was just really fun. A historical fiction, written completely in the form of letters between characters. Anyway, I thought I'd pass them on to you, although I wish I could tell you more about each one and write a more thoughtful review of each of them. I should probably do more important things though, like go clean... or grab a snack and finish Little Women before Timothy decides to come.

Anyway, I thought it was a random list of reading, which kind of made me laugh. We've mainly read more theological books (we do live in SBTS land and near the beloved Book Nook, after all) over the last few years, so reading like this has been a change, but it's always nice to find a good (free) unwinding hobby! So, hey, pull a Hamlet's Blackberry (you'll see what I mean when you read it) and take a little break on your facebook or e-mail and go check out one of these at your local library today!

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We're OLD! :)

These were 5 of my 5th graders from the first year I taught at Christian Academy. They now answer to Mr. Butts for their Math needs (in 9th grade). All of my old boys were taller than me. I saw one of my old kiddos who is now 6'4"! It was soooo fun to see them. They were such a special class! And, it's always fun to take Nate to see his daddy at work! Going down the halls is a wild experience though... kids call Nate "Little Butts" and "Mini-Butts" and "Buttsey" - hmm....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

More Pictures!!

I mentioned that my sweet friend Lindsay took some maternity pictures and some of Nate. She did an awesome job! We hoped to do some of Big Bro Nate with the belly, but he was melting. So, we got some sweet, crying pictures instead. But, those are part of the memories, too! Anyway, here are the rest of the photos she took! Our inspiration on the block/belly picture was my talented friends The Cozarts. You can see more of there stuff here. They took similar belly pictures with Nathaniel (and Lucy, since we weren't finding out gender that go-round)!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Tips for Two Under Two (Document Attached)

Photo Courtesy of my sweet and talented friend, Lindsay Crosby!

This is one of my faves! More to come...

  1. Most of these tips could be applied to any newborn situation. Some could be applied to any busy household, children or no children. I was (in many ways) even busier (or at least, busy in different ways) when I was working full-time. I don't discount that working and keeping a home is a busy time! Maybe these tips (especially the cleaning ones) could be useful to those in that life season as well.

  2. I do not endorse all of these sources (blogs, preschool books or otherwise). Mainly, because I haven't read them all. I just dug for stuff I liked.

  3. I think I quoted everything correctly, but you can get on to me if I didn't.

  4. Any more tips? Add them to the comment section. Perhaps I'll add them to the document eventually!

  5. When I can't sleep at night, this is one of the things I've been doing (besides reading Little Women, ha!). I'd like to add my own thoughts on a future post and some verses. These tips are mainly practical, not getting at the heart of mothering and probably not for everyone. But, I liked them.

  6. The formatting is shabby at this point. If I get bored, I may play with it sometime. For now, it's tips first, the source they came from second. Categorized by sources, not topic.

This link should get you to the document:

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How do you serve the suffering?

Since Molly Piper's blog's sidebar assures me that I'm a "stranger, not a stalker" - I keep visiting it. Mainly the archives. Mainly the series I'm about to share on here.

By way of intro, here's the skinny. I'm a people-person. I love people. And I love "my people" - all of the amazing friends and family God has given me. But, I clam up around people, even "my people," when they are suffering. I think about them. Sometimes I cry for them and pray for them and worry about them and wonder about them. But, I just don't know what to say. Or do. And, so, sadly, sometimes I don't. Often, I don't. I don't say. I don't do. I was convicted about this awhile back.

In my life, I have literally lost count of the number of friends who have had miscarriages, struggled with infertility, stillbirth or a brand-new baby that dies, an adoption process that doesn't end with an adoption, life-threatening illnesses, chronic illnesses, deaths in the family, etc. It's a fallen world, and sometimes, it hurts. A lot.

Lately, I'm wanting to do something about my tendency to "clam up" around the people who most need a friend during these times, and even months and years beyond. I want to ask them questions. Listen. Serve. Minister. Let them share. I want to try to enter into this world of suffering. I have much to learn.

Anyway, more could be said. But, I've been learning some big lessons about this. Many of which I learned on Molly Piper's blog. I heard of her story awhile back and stumbled upon her blog shortly thereafter. What I so appreciate about her writing is it's honesty, and the way she's trying to help the Church at large know how to deal with people who are hurting.

Okay. So, enough of my jibber-jabber about it.
If you have ever felt like I do, feeling kind of lost about how to serve the suffering, be it a close friend, a new friend, the gal three pews over at church or your neighbor, read these posts.

Start here. (And there are more posts on grief here as well.)

Thanks, Stranger Molly. I so appreciate your ministry to me. Even though I don't know you, I have learned a ton from you on this topic.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two Under Two - Collecting Tips

Feel free to pass along any tips you know about having two kiddos under the age of 2. Nate and Timothy will be under 18 months apart, Lord willing.

Most of the nesting is mental this go-round. Any handy advice will be most welcomed and may even be featured in a future blog post.

Because I'll have so much time to do things like blogging... right...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Nate's Friend

We're hanging out with our friend Rebekah Love today. This is a big week for her! After a long journey you can read about here, our friends will be officially adopting her this Thursday, Lord willing! She is precious, and her story is precious! We love you, Rebekah. We join your family in praising God for your life and adoption, especially on this special week!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 30, 2011